SPOKANE-- A man died after spending almost an hour submerged in the Spokane River Saturday afternoon.
Crews responded to the Sandifur Bridge around 1:00 p.m. near West Riverside Avenue and West Clarke Avenue for a water rescue. A witness called 911 when he saw a rafter in the water hanging onto a log. Soon after, other witnesses reported the man went under water.
Rescue teams entered the river in kayaks immediately after they arrived, but they had trouble reaching the victim because he was pinned by a submerged part of the log about 2 feet below the water’s surface.
Crews on the bridge delivered equipment to the teams below by rope. They used a chainsaw and a halligan bar to free the man's body, which the fire department describes as a long process.
Paramedics performed CPR once the man was brought to shore before transporting the victim to Deaconess. He was declared dead at the hospital.
The fire department urges anyone in the river to, at least, wear life vests before heading in the water.